The Sister Who Grew Up

I have two sisters. Karen lives happily in Virginia with her exdentist husband and Diane, who lives in Florida with her new husband, Kim. Karen is about ten years younger than I and in 1958 I missed her growing teenager years while I spent three years in the Army stationed in Germany.

I arrived home on a beautiful summer day and was greeted at the mailbox by a beautiful, tall young woman. Could this be my little sister, Karen? Wavy, dark brown hair framed a heart shaped face. Above rosy cheeks with a calendar girl complexion sparkled eyes of true blue. I couldn’t stop staring. Later that week the family piled into the old Lincoln to root for Karen in the local Endofsummer beauty contest. Karen wore a forest green taffeta dress cut to the tip of her knees, crinoline slips rustling and catching the air as she twirled. Some blonde bombshell won first place, but Karen was still a stunner in our hearts, winning second place.

Next May, all Karen could talk about was the approaching Junior Prom. She planned to wear her famous “Beauty Contest” dress. Karen didn’t have a boyfriend, but she assumed someone would ask her to the prom. As the day drew closer, her worried look told us that she might not go at all. Not wanting to be classified a wall flower, she was too mortified to consider going alone. It seemed that the girls in school outnumbered the boys handily and there weren’t enough to go around.

My mother took me aside and suggested that I could escort Karen to the prom. She would pay for the tux and flowers. After a brief hesitation, I agreed and Karen was thrilled. I assured her that I would disappear after making our entrance so that she could spend time with her friends. Pictures were snapped of us in the living room, Karen almost topping me in high heels. I got to share a jug of hard cider behind the school and Karen had a ball at the ball.